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Resources for Exhibitions

Two kids wrangling cows at a fair
Two kids wrangling cows at a fair

General Requirements For Fairs And Exhibitions In Michigan

Exhibitors at state, county, and district fairs (along with other livestock exhibitions, expositions, and shows) are required to comply with all the statutory and regulatory provisions of the State of Michigan relating to animal health outlined in the Animal Industry Act, 1988 PA 466, MCL 287.701-287.747. 

General Requirements for Fair and Exhibitions in Michigan

All references to "animals" below include, but are not limited to, animals exhibited by 4-H and other youth, open classes, petting zoos, rodeos, circus animals, racing pigs, pony rides, and exotic animals.

  1. A person who suspects or confirms an animal is either affected by a reportable disease or contaminated with a toxic substance shall immediately report the case to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Animal Industry Division (MDARD AID) by calling 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).
  2. Any animal with clinical signs of infectious, contagious, or toxicological disease, either at check-in or during the event, shall be removed from the fair, exhibition, exposition, or show. Alternatively, by permission of MDARD AID, the animal may be isolated on the premises. An accredited veterinarian’s knowledge and advice should be sought out by an exhibitor or exhibition staff to assess an animal for clinical signs of an infectious, contagious, or toxicological disease.
  3. A fair, exhibition, exposition, or show authority shall have an accredited veterinarian on call whenever there are animals on the premises.
  4. All cattle, bison, privately-owned cervids, goats, sheep, and imported camelids shall bear official identification before they leave their home premises. Swine require official identification prior to being exhibited.
  5. All equids, except foals less than six months of age and nursing their dam, must have proof of a negative test to Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), (Coggins Test), conducted within the previous 12 months.
  6. It is the responsibility of exhibitors to ensure all test charts, official identification, and interstate certificates of veterinary inspection or other movement documents required by this act accompany their animal(s) and proof of fulfilling these requirements is provided to the director of the department (or his/her authorized representative) and/or fair, exhibition, exposition, or show authority upon request.
  7. A fair, exhibition, exposition, or show authority shall do all of the following:
    1. Notify exhibitors of the official identification, health tests, and certificates of veterinary inspection or other movement documents required for importation into and exhibition in this state.
    2. Examine and approve required official identification, certificates of veterinary inspection or other movement documents, test charts, and other required documentation before displaying, exhibiting, or stabling the animals in the exhibition area or before commingling with other animals.
    3. Provide shipping arrangements for all exhibited livestock moving directly from the event facility to a market for livestock auction, as that term is defined in 1937 PA 284, MCL 287.121 to 287.131.
    4. Notify exhibitors whether poultry vaccinated against infectious laryngotracheitis are allowed in the fair, exhibition, or exposition.
  8. A fair or exhibition may require additional testing or vaccination of animals before entry and during the fair, exhibition, exposition, or show.
  9. Whenever an official test is conducted or an official vaccination is administered by an accredited veterinarian, livestock shall, unless exempted, be permanently identified in a manner approved by MDARD AID.
  10. Unless otherwise approved or waived by the director, all the following apply to exhibition facilities:
    1. Facilities for exhibition of animals shall be constructed to allow sufficient separation of both each exhibitor’s animals and each species. Facilities shall be constructed of a material that can be adequately cleaned and disinfected.
    2. Animal housing shall be constructed and placed to provide adequate light and ventilation appropriate for the animals being housed.
    3. An exhibition facility and its associated buildings shall be cleaned and disinfected with a State Veterinarian-approved disinfectant and used in accordance with label instructions before animals are admitted.
      • Virkon-S
      • Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxides (Accel, Intervention, or Rescue)
      • Bleach (such as Clorox) at a ratio of 1:32, which is ½ cup (4 oz.) to one gallon of water. Do not add ammonia to bleach/water mixture
      • Phenolic disinfectants (like Pinesol ®) for poultry equipment and coops
    4. Access to hand-cleansing facilities or hand-sanitizing methods shall be available in close proximity to each building that houses animals.
    5. Bedding used by livestock, feed waste, shipping containers, and other animal-associated waste shall be removed from the animal area and disposed of in a timely and responsible manner.
    6. An animal shall not be used as a prize at a carnival or a midway activity unless approved by the director.